Aydın, Şahin, and Keşkek were arrested as part of a large crackdown by the Turkish police against the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Salvation Party/Front (DHKP/C) in Istanbul. All of them were charged with being members of an armed terrorist organization-the DHKP/C-and producing propaganda in favor of the same organization, according to an updated list of imprisoned journalists provided by the Justice Ministry in November 2013 at CPJ’s request.
Aydın, news editor of the quarterly Artı İvme (Positive Acceleration), was being held at Edirne F Type High Security Closed Prison in Edirne province; Şahin, an editor for the bimonthly Tavır (Attitude), was being held at Tekirdağ F Type High Security Closed Prison No. 1 in Tekirdağ province; and Keşkek, who co-edits Tavır along with Şahin, was being held at the Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison in Istanbul, according to the Justice Ministry’s updated list.
Their lawyer, Evrim Deniz Karatana, said the journalists had denied any ties to the DHKP/C. She said they were targeted because “they work for publications that oppose the government.” Artı İvme and Tavır are pro-socialist publications that are often highly critical of the government. Karatana said that the prosecution considered the publications the journalists work for as being under the supervision and orders of the DHKP/C-accusations that the journalists deny.
Karatana also told CPJ that fabricated evidence in the form of false testimonies by undisclosed witnesses was the main basis of the charges against her clients. She said the journalists were beaten by the police during their detention.
The journalists’ trial was ongoing at the 6th Court of Serious Crimes in Istanbul in late 2013. If convicted, Aydın, Şahin, and Keşkek face up to 15 years in prison.